Few periods of ancient history sum up mathematical precision in quite as dramatic a fashion as Ancient Egypt. Against a rugged landscape of rocky mountains, rolling sand dunes, and the wide emptiness of an endless blue sky, the architects in the Land of the Pharaohs embraced geometric design with a passion by any other civilization.
The Pyramids at Giza remain one of the great architectural wonders of the world, and the giant sculpture of the Sphinx is unrivaled example of the Egyptian ability to represent the natural form within a geometric methodology. Equally interested in the mystical power of numerology were the Ancient Greeks.
With their elegant marble temples and fertile landscapes, the Greeks built a civilization of which the number three was an object of passion. Its legacy has continued to live on as a core element of more modern cultural codes and religions, suggesting that three may be more important to the way that we currently view the world than we necessarily realize.
Building in Threes
The plurality of three offered a sense of balance, order, and geometric precision. This is something that was held with such reverence that it is present at all levels of Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek culture and design, including the very fabric of their buildings. Finding opportunities to include representations of the number three was a crucial element of architectural design in Greece. For instance, Doric friezes on temples feature triglyphs, which are a rectangular panel of three vertical lines.
Created by carving two angular channels (known as hemiglyphs), Greek triglyphs are thought to be a recreation of the Egyptian hieroglyph for the number three, which appears as three straight lines ( I I I ). The Doric design is thought to have represented harmony whilst invoking the powerful magic of the pluralism concept, an important consideration for a building as important as a temple.
Still going strong
This design remains popular today, and is a common feature of many modern skills in arts and crafts such as wood carving and metalwork. Museums frequently offer craft workshops and exhibitions exploring the exceptional skill and unique design of classical landscapes.
Such is its legacy that the triglyph is also found in many modern buildings. These include neoclassical buildings, such as those common on Broadway, and also in aspects of quintessentially modern buildings. In a nod to the civilization that gave us Democracy, the Cabinet Room, Roosevelt Room and
It would seem that there is something irresistible about this simple representation of the number three that has caused its legacy to live on beyond the lifespan of the civilizations that created it, raising the tantalizing possibility that it will also appear in the landscapes of the distant future.
The power of the triangle
Aside from triglyphs, the number three is found in triangles throughout both Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek architecture. Perhaps the most overt three in Ancient Greek architecture is the triangle on the front and back of the Parthenon in Athens. Known as pediments, these triangles are considered to contain some of the finest examples of Doric sculpture, and contained images of the most important moments in the lives of the Olympic triad.
Another example of the triangle, The Great Pyramid of Giza, also features a prominent number three in the form of its three triangular faces. This is part of the complex numerology of the pyramids, the various mathematical elements of which represent the Pythagorean concept of all universal rhythms being modeled from the triangle (three), the square (four), and the pentagon (five).
Again, the triangles in Egypt are closely related to mythology, and deictic triangles in particular. The shortest side of the Pythagorean triangle (known as “Ausar”) corresponds to the Father, the longer side (known as “Auset”) corresponds to the Mother, and the hypotenuse (called “Heru”) is the son.
The power of the triangle became important amongst Ancient alchemists, and was later embraced by Medieval architects. The natural ease with which a triangle can be divided into parts whilst still remaining a whole proved an attractive idea for those who were aiming to explore the fundamental harmony of biological life.
For instance, the Egyptian Alchemical Triangle had three, four, and five divisions for the Father, Mother, and Son sides respectively. The three divisions on the Ausar side represented the three vital principles that formed the known world: salt, sulfur, and mercury, a vital part of the process of the Spirit manifesting as Matter.
The irresistible geometry of the triangle has seen the concept reappear throughout cultures and religions, making it one of the most recognized symbols in the world. Crucial to the Christian realization of the Father, Son, and Spirit trinity, the three-sided polygon also appears in Buddhism as part of the Eye of Consciousness (the so-called “third eye”), as as part of the Sri Yantra of Hinduism.
n a world where consumerism drives a fast-paced life, the importance of the fundamental building blocks of culture and civilization can easily become lost. Three may appear to be a simple number, useful for a quick bit of mental arithmetic or jotting down a phone number, but its historical importance remains all around us in the form of triangles and triglyphs.
From the ancients who truly believed in the mystical power of not simply the number three but also the concept behind it, to the geometric balance that continues to attract architects and designers to its fan club, to its integral role in constructing modern religions, the number three is a part of the ancient world that has refused to succumb to the ravages of time.
By the late Professor Alan Dundes of the University of California at Berkeley
Professor Allan Dundes
Students undertaking professional training in anthropology are rarely, if ever, required to formally study their own cultures. They must demonstrate competence in various topics and areas, but these do not normally include materials from their own cultures. They may be told that the identification and careful delineation of native categories may be crucial to a fuller understanding of that culture which they investigate, but their own native categories, the identification of which is equally important for an understanding of another culture, may not be considered at all. With our present knowledge of the cultural relativity of perception and cognition, it seems clear that students of anthropology should be encouraged to analyze their own native categories with the same care and methodological rigor that is demanded of them in their fieldwork in other cultures. If the reduction of ethnocentric bias is truly an ideal of anthropological scholarship, then anthropologists should go into the field with as comprehensive an understanding of the nature of their own culture as possible.
Within the Trivium the goal of argumentative writing is to persuade your audience that your ideas are valid, or more valid than someone else’s. The Greek philosopher Aristotle divided the means of persuasion, appeals, into three categories–Ethos, Pathos, Logos.
Ethos (Credibility), or ethical appeal, means convincing by the character of the author. We tend to believe people whom we respect. One of the central problems of argumentation is to project an impression to the reader that you are someone worth listening to, in other words making yourself as author into an authority on the subject of the paper, as well as someone who is likable and worthy of respect.
Pathos (Emotional) means persuading by appealing to the reader’s emotions. We can look at texts ranging from classic essays to contemporary advertisements to see how pathos, emotional appeals, are used to persuade. Language choice affects the audience’s emotional response, and emotional appeal can effectively be used to enhance an argument.
Logos(Logical) means persuading by the use of reasoning. This will be the most important technique we will study, and Aristotle’s favorite. We’ll look at deductive and inductive reasoning, and discuss what makes an effective, persuasive reason to back up your claims. Giving reasons is the heart of argumentation, and cannot be emphasized enough. We’ll study the types of support you can use to substantiate your thesis, and look at some of the common logical fallacies, in order to avoid them in your writing.
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.
Logos (Greek for ‘word’) refers to the internal consistency of the message–the clarity of the claim, the logic of its reasons, and the effectiveness of its supporting evidence. The impact of logos on an audience is sometimes called the argument’s logical appeal.
Ethos (Greek for ‘character’) refers to the trustworthiness or credibility of the writer or speaker. Ethos is often conveyed through tone and style of the message and through the way the writer or speaker refers to differing views. It can also be affected by the writer’s reputation as it exists independently from the message–his or her expertise in the field, his or her previous record or integrity, and so forth. The impact of ethos is often called the argument’s ‘ethical appeal’ or the ‘appeal from credibility.’
[P]athos (Greek for ‘suffering’ or ‘experience’) is often associated with emotional appeal. But a better equivalent might be ‘appeal to the audience’s sympathies and imagination.’ An appeal to pathos causes an audience not just to respond emotionally but to identify with the writer’s point of view–to feel what the writer feels. In this sense, pathos evokes a meaning implicit in the verb ‘to suffer’–to feel pain imaginatively…. Perhaps the most common way of conveying a pathetic appeal is through narrative or story, which can turn the abstractions of logic into something palpable and present. The values, beliefs, and understandings of the writer are implicit in the story and conveyed imaginatively to the reader. Pathos thus refers to both the emotional and the imaginative impact of the message on an audience, the power with which the writer’s message moves the audience to decision or action.
[The above text drawn verbatim from Ramage, John D. and John C. Bean. Writing Arguments. 4th Edition. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 1998, 81-82.] http://www.u.arizona.edu/ic/polis/courses021/ENGL_102-78/EthosPathosLogos
Or The Shorthand Version:
Ethos: the source’s credibility, the speaker’s/author’s authority
Logos: the logic used to support a claim (induction and deduction); can also be the facts and statistics used to help support the argument.
Pathos: the emotional or motivational appeals; vivid language, emotional language and numerous sensory details.
The Art of Rhetoric: Learning How to Use the Three Main Rhetorical Styles
Rhetoric (n) – the art of speaking or writing effectively (Webster’s Definition).
According to Aristotle, rhetoric is “the ability, in each particular case, to see the available means of persuasion.” He described three main forms of rhetoric: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos.
In order to be a more effective writer, you must understand these three terms. This site will help you understand their meanings and it will also show you how to make your writing more persuasive.
It also has some fantastic example web sites that use ethos, logos, and pathos. My ACME and Coyote fans will love these examples.
The following essay “The Appeals: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos” was written by Professor Jeanne Fahnestock of the University of Maryland, College Park, and is a very insightful explanation of the three appeals.
According to Aristotle, our perception of a speaker or writer’s character influences how believable or convincing we find what that person has to say. This projected character is called the speaker or writer’s ethos. We are naturally more likely to be persuaded by a person who, we think, has personal warmth, consideration of others, a good mind and solid learning. Often we know something of the character of speakers and writers ahead of time. They come with a reputation or extrinsic ethos. People whose education, experience, and previous performances qualify them to speak on a certain issue earn the special extrinsic ethos of the authority. But whether or not we know anything about the speaker or writer ahead of time, the actual text we hear or read, the way it is written or spoken and what it says, always conveys and impression of the author’s character. This impression created by the text itself is the intrinsic ethos.
Institutions, public roles and publications also project an ethos or credibility. We assume, for example, that The New York Times is a more credible source than the Weekly World News or the National Inquirer. And we usually assume that a person selected for a position of responsibility or honor is more credible than someone without official sanction. These expectations about credibility and ethos are occasionally disappointed.
The persuasive appeal of pathos is an appeal to an audience’s sense of identity, their self-interest, their emotions. Many rhetoricians over the centuries have considered pathos the strongest of the appeals, though this view of persuasion is rarely mentioned without a lament about the power of emotion to sway the mind.
Appeals to our sense of identity and self interest exploit common biases; we naturally bend in the direction of what is advantageous to us, what serves our interests or the interests of any group we believe ourselves a part of. Even when advantage is not an issue, writers who belong to groups we identify with, or create groups we can belong to, often seem more compelling. We also naturally find more persuasive the speaker or writer who flatters us (especially indirectly) instead of insulting us. Thus skillful writers create a positive image in their words of the audience they are addressing, an image their actual readers can identify with. Who does not want to be the “sensible, caring person” the arguer describes? Especially powerful are devices that create an identity between the writer and reader so that the speaker almost seems to be the audience addressing itself.
The emotions also strongly assist, perhaps sometimes determine, persuasion. If, for example, a writer wants a reader to evaluate something negatively, she or he may try to arouse the reader’s anger. Or to produce action to someone’s benefit (e.q. to persuade us to make a charitable donation), an arguer may work on our pity.
Direct appeals to the reader to feel an emotion (e.q. “You should be crying now”) are rarely effective. Instead, creating an emotion with words usually requires recreating the scene or event that would in “real” circumstances arouse the emotion. Thus descriptions of painful or pleasant things work on the emotions. Or the arguer can work on the natural “trigger” of the emotion. If, for example, we usually feel anger at someone who, we believe, has received benefits without deserving them, then the arguer who wants to make us angry with someone will make a case that person was rewarded unfairly.
Finally, we come to the “argument” itself, the explicit reasons the arguer provides to support a position. There are many ways to describe the support provided in an argument, but a sample way to begin is to consider all the premises the author seems to supply. These can be scattered throughout the argument and expressed indirectly, so identifying premises is a judgment call in itself.
Next ask which of the premises are presented as objects of agreement that the arguer considers as given, elements of the argument taken for granted. Objects of agreement are basically either facts or values. Of course, the facts may not be facts and readers may not agree with the values assumed. Some of the premises will be supported further, but basically every argument has got to come down to certain objects of agreement that it presents as shared between arguer and audience.
You can also classify premises into the following categories. 1. Are they arguments based on definition? In other words, does the arguer make claims about the nature of things, about what terms mean, what features things have? 2. Does the arguer make analogies or comparisons? Does he or she cite parallel cases? 3. Are there appeals to cause and consequences? Arguing from consequence is especially common when policy issues are debated. 4. Does the arguer rely on testimony or authority by citing the received opinions of experts? Or does the author create some kind of authoritative reference group, citing public opinion on what most people think as support for his or her position?
Rhetoric, Logos, Pathos, and Ethos
THE THREE “ARTISTIC PROOFS.”
There are three artistic proofs that we can create: the appeals from ethos, pathos, and logos.
Persuasion from ethos establishes the speaker’s or writer’s good character. As you saw in the opening of Plato’s Phaedrus, the Greeks established a sense of ethos by a family’s reputation in the community. Our current culture in many ways denies us the use of family ethos as sons and daughters must move out of the community to find jobs or parents feel they must sell the family home to join a retirement community apart from the community of their lives’ works. The appeal from a person’s acknowledged life contributions within a community has moved from the stability of the family hearth to the mobility of the shiny car. Without the ethos of the good name and handshake, current forms of cultural ethos often fall to puffed-up resumes and other papers. The use of ethos in the form of earned titles within the community-Coach Albert, Deacon Jones, Professor Miller-are diminishing as “truthful” signifiers while commercial-name signifiers or icons appear on clothing-Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Tommy Hilfiger- disclosing a person’s cultural ethos not in terms of a contributor to the community, but in terms of identity-through purchase. Aristotle warns us away from such decoys, telling us that the appeal from ethos comes not from appearances, but from a person’s use of language. In a culture where outward appearances have virtually subsumed or taken over the appeal from inner (moral and intellectual) character, the appeal from ethos becomes both problematic and important. Given our culture’s privileges/rights of free speech and personal equality, however, we have enormous possibilities for the appeal from ethos any writer well versed in his or her subject and well spoken about it can gain credibility. This kind of persuasion comes from what a person says and how a person says it, not from any prejudice (pre-judging) of the author.
Aristotle tells us that three things “Inspire confidence in the rhetor’s [speaker’s/writer’s] own character-the three, namely, that induce us to believe a thing apart from any proof of it: good sense, good moral character, and goodwill. False statements and bad advice come from the lack of any of these elements. Exhibiting these three aspects of character in your discourse can play a large part in gaining credibility for your ideas. As regards the academic essay, be sure to have your writing appear written by a person of good sense by following the format dictated by the Modern Language Association (M.L.A.) or American Psychological Association (A.P.A.) or whatever your particular academic community wants. Citing a bunch of sources always adds to your credibility (sense of good sense) too. Stylistically in your writing, you can show, if not your good moral character, at least some character identification by sticking some little phrase before using “r’ or “we.” Like, “As So-in-so’s attorney, I suggest . . . Or “As a dental hygienist, I advise…… Or “As an elderly snowboarder for the past decade, I see no reason why…… Actually, using “I” or “we” without such identifiers flips the attempt at ethos into a sense of the generic nobody. Many writing teachers, therefore, just say “don’t use I.” Aristotle implies, use “I” or “we” to your advantage with an ethos-appeal sort of phrase out there in front, or else forget it. Despite warnings against believing discourse ‘just because it appears written by someone of good sense or because the ideas “look good,” you should try to create discourse that “looks good.” As a reminder from the Plato chapter (now reinforced by the Aristotelian tip that people judge the credibility of your ideas by your writing skills), you should run your academic essay through the spell checker and bother numerous guinea-pig readers for fixing up the organization and Standard English before letting your essay loose on the world to do its work. If, as Aristotle says, people are going to judge your spoken and/or written ideas by virtue of the appearance of good sense, you’d best attend to that quality.
Persuasion from pathos involves engaging the readers’ or listeners’ emotions. Appealing to pathos does not mean that you just emote or “go off’ through your writing. Not that simple. Appealing to pathos in your readers (or listeners), you establish in them a state of reception for your ideas. You can attempt to fill your readers with pity for somebody or contempt for some wrong. You can create a sense of envy or of indignation. Naturally, in order for you to establish at will any desired state of emotion in your readers, you will have to know everything you can about psychology. Maybe that’s why Aristotle wrote so many books about the philosophy of human nature. In the Rhetoric itself, Aristotle advises writers at length how to create anger toward some ideal circumstance and how also to create a sense of calm in readers. He also explains principles of friendship and enmity as shared pleasure and pain. He discusses how to create in readers a sense of fear and shame and shamelessness and kindness and unkindness and pity and indignation and envy and indignation and emulation. Then he starts all over and shows how to create such feelings toward ideas in various types of human character’ of “people” of virtue and vice; those of youth, prime of life, and old age; and those of good fortune and those of bad fortune.” Aristotle warns us, however: knowing (as a good willed writer) how to get your readers to receive your ideas by making readers “pleased and friendly” or “pained and hostile” is one thing; playing on readers’ emotions in ways that make them mindless of concepts and consequences can corrupt the judgment of both individuals and the community.
Finally, a writer appeals to readers through the appeal to the readers’ sense of logos. This is commonly called the logical appeal, and you can use two different types of logic. You can use inductive logic by giving your readers a bunch of similar examples and then drawing from them a general proposition. This logic is pretty simple given this, that, and the other thing-poof, there you go, a conclusion. Or, you can use the deductive enthymeme by giving your readers a few general propositions and then drawing from them a specific truth. Like, “because such-‘n-such is true and such-‘n-such is true and such-‘n-such is true and everybody agrees on this other thing, then-poof, stands to reason, a new truth.
Since the time that a bunch of guys called “The Royal Society” (Hume, Locke, Bacon, etc.) rejected deduction, our culture has generally favored induction because it’s often called the “scientific method” and we like science. Historically, people have also attributed feminine metaphors to deductive logic and then easily dismissed it or dismissed the general propositions as “not documented” or “old wives tales.”
A student sample that uses these three proofs to analyze a contemporary speech given by George Bush can be read at the following web site. You can agree with or disagree with the author’s interpretations, but the sample might provide you with an example of how you can use these terms to help you analyze your own article. Remember it’s not the issue, it’s the way the issue is presented by the author.
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos Applied: George W. Bush Speaking at ‘Ground Zero’
The following web site presents student sample paragraphs that have been revised and, as a result are much stronger. I strongly suggest looking at these paragraphs in order to fully understand how Ethos, Pathos, and Logos can be used to analyze your articles.
Paragraph Development (for Ethos, Logos, Pathos Essay)